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Lancet Neurology reclassifies fluoride as developmental neurotoxin

An average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations

Fluoride newly classified as neurotoxin.

Fluoride newly classified as neurotoxin.

When a Harvard professor speaks, one usually listens.  Perhaps the results of a new article authored by Dr. Philippe Grandjean, Harvard School of Public Health, and Dr. Philip Landrigan, Icahn School of Medicine, will finally change public water policies on fluoridation of city water.

The benefits of systemic fluoridation has been debated for decades.  Theories abound of the negative effects, from conspiratory to health concerns.

The most recent news is the chemical fluoride has been reclassified as a developmental neurotoxin joining the ranks of lead and arsenic.

EcoWatch report on the news published in the March 2014 issue of Lancet Neurology:

“A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations.”

The majority of these 27 studies had water fluoride levels of less than four milligrams per liter, which falls under the allowable level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It interests me that this study focused on China, as I ignorantly think of fluoridated water as a North American problem.   276 million Americans consume fluoridated water.

Grandjean and Landrigan write, “Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, truncating future achievements and damaging societies, perhaps most seriously in developing countries.”…

“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Grandjean says. ”The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”

I think that last statement needs to be emphasized.  Fluoride advocates may cite that the effect is minute; however, when we are talking about damage from toxins, we must look at a combination of exposures and cumulative effect. We do not live in isolation and are exposed to a variety of harmful chemicals.  Reducing levels of one is important in the mixture; reducing levels of all of them even more so.

I was sold on the benefits of fluoride on teeth as a child.  I have since had many conversations with dentists that advocate for topical applications of fluoride for at least two minutes a day.  They do not advocate for ingestion, which increases exposure causing fluorosis and neurological effects.  It is hard for me to just ditch fluoride all together. I am not sure why.  It must have been truly engrained in my childhood beliefs.  Nonetheless, we are fortunate to live where our water comes from a spring, and the only exposure we get to fluoride is in toothpaste sometimes.

Image courtesy of photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Finally a study that verifies that fluoride isn’t good for you.

  2. People everywhere are learning the truth that fluoridation is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health, so only 5% of the world and only 3% of Europe fluoridate their drinking water. Yet Europe has a better tooth decay rate that those countries which do fluoridate.

    In additon, Israel and Queensland have both ended mandatory fluoridation within the last year. For a list of many hundreds of cities rejecting fluoridation, see:

    To read the truth, Google “Fluoride dangers” and read a few of the 12,000 articles, many by M.D.’s, dentists and medical scientists.

  3. The neurotoxic effect of fluoride is not confined to the unborn. As these authors warn, not only is fluoride a neurotoxin in its own right, but it may have synergistic effects on other toxins, and at far lower environmental exposure levels than are regarded as the ‘safe’ upper limits’ for it and them. Anypotentially synergistic effects on fetal brain development are a matter of grave concern, but it doesn’t end there. Fluoride’s synergistic effect on the rate at which aluminium from, especially, drinking water is absobed from the gut onto the blood, and from there conveneyed to the brain is a major threat to the entire health service.
    Aluminium is itself a neurotoxin when incorporated into brain tissue, and is an important environmental cause of dementia, and not just something that is accidentally ‘associated with’ dementia. It is present in most industrially treated water supplies, and again is regarded as ‘non-toxic’. It’s not – but its effects develop0 at levels that are supposedly far below that at which any obvious adverse effects are normally apparent.
    The slow, lifetime accumulation of aluminium into our brains is a ‘ticking clock’, leading eventually to dementias such as Azlheimer’s Disease (AD) in our 70s and 80s – but fluoride speeds up that deadly ‘clock’, and now AD is appearing more frequently in younger people.
    So any activity that increases fluoride exposure, from conception to old age, is a direct threat to our mental integrity literally’ from the cradle to the grave’.

  4. Does ANSI/NSF Standard 60 establish any criteria for manufacturers to
    divulge the safety of their product?
    a. Yes. Standard 60 General Requirement for a manufacturer to be
    certified by NSF, International, Section 3.2.1, requires that a
    manufacturer supply a list of all toxicological data, both published
    and unpublished if available, on the manufacturer’s product and all
    contaminants of the product.

    8) How is this Section 3.2.1 Requirement applied to fluoridation
    a. NSF, International has replied to Congressional investigation
    (and under oath during depositions) that no manufacturer of
    fluoridation chemicals has complied with this requirement, even
    under Business Confidentiality Act protection.

    9) To be clear, are manufacturers certified by NSF even though they
    are out of compliance with this requirement?
    a. Yes.

    10) Are individual states or water suppliers who rely on
    certification as an indicator of compliance with Standard 60
    informed that in the case of fluoridation chemicals all requirements
    have not been met?
    a. According to testimony under oath during depositions by Stan
    Hazan, NSF, International has not provided notice to any State that
    fluoridation chemical manufacturers are certified without compliance
    with this requirement.

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